Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas – Audiobook Review

Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas, narrated by Bernadette Sullivan
Published in audio by Random House Audio, published in print by Crown Books, both imprints of Random House

If you’re participating in Audiobook Week don’t forget to link up your reviews to the review linky.

Synopsis:

From the publisher:

Confessions of a Sociopath takes readers on a journey into the mind of a sociopath, revealing what makes the tick and what that means for the rest of humanity.   Written from the point of view of a diagnosed sociopath, it unveils these men and women who are “hiding in plain sight” for the very first time.

Confessions of a Sociopath is part confessional memoir, part primer for the wary. Drawn from Thomas’ own experiences; her popular blog, Sociopathworld.com; and current and historical scientific literature, it reveals just how different – and yet often very similar – sociopaths are from the rest of the world. The book confirms suspicions and debunks myths about sociopathy and is both the memoir of a high-functioning, law-abiding (well, mostly) sociopath and a roadmap – right from the source – for dealing with the sociopath in your life, be it a boss, sibling, parent, spouse, child, neighbor, colleague or friend.

Thoughts on the story:

At times M.E.’s story seems to contradict itself and I would be reminded that the narrator of this book self-identifies as a sociopath and wonder just how much I could trust her. Looking back now, I am not certain whether M.E. is a consciously unreliable narrator or if her lack of trust-worthiness has more to do with with a certain amount of self-delusion that is connected with her condition.

I found the first third of Confessions of a Sociopath to be the most interesting part, particularly the discussion of the lack of recognition of risk and all of the rotten food M.E. has eaten because the threat of food poisoning is not a deterrent. I was also interested in M.E.’s childhood and fairly incredulous when she describes it as not having been so bad, when it pretty clearly sounds terrible to me.

There is a point towards the end where the narrative begins to drag, particularly as M.E. begins to talk about all of her romantic conquests; that section goes on much longer than I was able to maintain interest. Of course, by that time I was pretty well invested in the book, so it wasn’t too big of a problem.

audiobookweekbutton zpsdb6e126c picture Thoughts on the audio production:

Bernadette Sullivan’s narration in Confessions of a Sociopath is not a delivery that would work in most audiobooks, but her dispassionate (although not without vocal interest) patter accentuates Thomas’s own style of writing and makes you truly believe you are listening to a sociopath tell you her story.

Overall:

Confessions of a Sociopath is a highly engaging – if at times very disturbing – audiobook. Recommended

For more information, please see the publisher’s page.
Source: Publisher.

 

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Audiobook Week – Audiobook Reviews

audiobookweekbutton zpsdb6e126c pictureInstead of having daily review linkys as I have in the past, for Audiobook Week this year we will have just this one linky for any and all audiobook reviews posted this week. When you link up, please include the title of the audiobook you are reviewing as well as your name or blog name.

Audiobook Week may be the only time when I put up a sticky post for you to leave links to audiobook reviews, but for those of you who are new here, every other week of the year I put up a Sound Bytes post on Fridays where you can also link up any audiobook reviews from that week.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – Audiobook Review

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, narrated by Kathleen Wilhoite
Published in audio by Hachette Audio, published in print by Little, Brown and Company

Synopsis:

From the publisher:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

Thoughts on the story:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is charmingly told, the story of a young girl and her missing mother. There is a series of improbable events that seem like they should be ridiculous, but which instead become a lovely story that will captivate readers. 

Thoughts on the audio production:

I may be the only one who feels this way, but I don’t totally love Kathleen Wilhoite as a narrator. She is talented and does pull off the voice of a young girl well, but – in a totally nitpicky way – I find her voice almost TOO little girl-like here, and it sorts of grates on my nerves. This is a totally subjective thing, objectively she’s good, but there’s just some quality in her voice that doesn’t thrill me.

Overall:

A good production and a wonderful book, but I didn’t love the audio as much as some others do.

For more information on this book, check out the publisher’s page.
Source: Publisher

Sound Bytes is a meme that occurs every Friday! I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

 

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Snapper by Brian Kimberling – Audiobook Review

Snapper by Brian Kimberling, narrated by Macleod Andrews
Published in audio by Random House Audio, published in print by TK

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, earning just enough money to live on. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and he is in love with Lola, a woman so free-spirited and mysterious she can break a man’s heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie’s Burgers & Beer, the genius behind “Thong Thursdays”; Uncle Dart, a Texan who brings his swagger to Indiana with profound and nearly devastating results; a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs; a German shepherd who howls backup vocals; and the very charismatic state of Indiana itself. And at the center of it all is Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken.

Thoughts on the story:

Snapper is a lovely, contemplative little novel. It basically consists of Nathan musing about Indiana: his childhood, his job studying birds, and the people that surround him (good, bad, and ugly). I’m not sure how much Snapper would appeal to those who have not spent considerable time in Indiana (although anyone who has clocked significant time in small towns might understand pretty well), but I was born there and still have family in the Indianapolis area, so Nathan’s mixed feelings about the state rang very true to me. With anecdotes ranging from humorous to heartfelt, I fell a little bit in love with Nathan and his Indiana.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Macleod Andrew is a new-to-me narrator, but in my opinion he does a great job with Snapper. This is one of those lovely first person performances where the narrator becomes the main character and you sort of forget that this is fiction and a bunch of people had to work to make it happen. Very good.

Overall:

One thing to note about Snapper is that it is the perfect length – just about 6 hours in audio. It cuts off exactly where it should

For more information, please see the publisher’s website.

Source: Publisher.

Sound Bytes is a meme that occurs every Friday! I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

 

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Inferno by Dan Brown – Audiobook Review

Inferno by Dan Brown, narrated by Paul Michael
Published in audio by Random House Audio, published in print by Doubleday Books, both imprints of Random House

Synopsis:

From the publisher:

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Thoughts on the story:

A classic Dan Brown, and, I believe, vastly superior to The Lost Symbol. Inferno has a pretty good pace, although it somehow manages to feel less high-stakes that DaVinci Code and a truly improbably number of things happen over the course of the day. And, of course, because the protagonist is Robert Langdon we hear about his damn tweed coat and Mickey Mouse watch a ridiculous number of times, the watch even though Langdon LOSES IT before the first scene. Despite its obvious problems, I enjoyed Inferno more than Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol. I think it was largely the literary and Italian Renaissance art themes that really made it for me. Although, I will note, that at least twice I figured out very obvious clues before our celebrated symbologist and art historian did, based on nothing more than what I remember from AP European history about 15 years ago. That was sort of ridiculous. And frustrating. No way these things should have puzzled Langdon, so I would be distracted by my frustration with him until he’d finally get it.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Audio is SO the way to go, here. Paul Michael is a new-to-me narrator and in another book I might not be blown away by his narration, but he totally worked for me to get inside Robert Langdon’s head. He seemed so much more like how I would have imagined Robert Langdon than Tom Hanks ever did. He was also surprisingly good at giving characters different voices, a skill I didn’t expect based on something in his voice. I think the main reason why this worked really well, though, is that Brown is more of a storyteller than a wordsmith. In audio I could mostly ignore the short chapters and the occasionally awkward or repetitive phrasing; I could just sit back and be washed into the story. And you know what? I ended up listening to the whole 17 hours of it in about 2 days, which for me is unprecedented, so yeah, the audio really worked here.

Overall:

Inferno would be a really great road trip audiobook this summer. Also recommended for yard work or the gym.

Learn more about this book at the publisher’s website.
Source: Review copy.

Sound Bytes is a meme that occurs every Friday! I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

 

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